By Robert Robinson
An Autobiography Robert Robinson
Read Online or Download Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union PDF
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Additional resources for Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union
I ordered them all to put their noses down, to pay attention and not to close up in the clouds. I could see my wingman but nothing in front of me. I didn't want any collisions! I was their CO, and therefore had responsibility for all my pilots. If just one pair collided it would be my fault. But we began to break out of the clouds and the overcast was above us. And there they were — B-29s, just three kilometres (two miles) from us. Our command post estimated that there were 12 bombers - I'd already counted them - and up to 120 escorting fighters.
The 4th FW jet literally disintegrated under the weight of Pepelyaev's fire. Later that same day, while leading two squadrons to intercept fighterbombers attacking trains in the Anju area, Pepelyaev and his wingman attacked eight F-84 fighters, one of which was shot down by the Soviet ace (USAF records confirm the loss of an F-86A, but not an F-84). On 27 November Lt Col Pepelyaev claimed another Thunderjet kill (USAF records state an F-80C was lost to MiGs and an F-84E hit the ground while strafing a train).
Major participants from the Soviet side were Lt Col Aleksander Smorchkov, second-in-command of 18th GvIAP and a man with 282 tactical missions, 36 aerial engagements and four individual kills in World War 2 to his credit (he would claim 12 more victories in Korea), and Maj Dmitriy Oskin, who would score 15 Korean War kills. They sighted a pair of Sabres and immediately went after them, as Smorchkov subsequently recalled; 'Together with Oskin, Dmitriy and Pavlovich, I was flying at 12,000 m (39,000 ft) when we caught two Sabres.